Dormouse Netsuke – Progress Report

Dormouse Netsuke in Mahogany progress shot
Dormouse Netsuke Progress shot


Since the last post I have been quietly working away on the Mahogany Dormouse Netsuke.

It has taken a lot more thinking time than I expected even though this is now the second attempt at this design. The more I’ve worked on this Mahogany Dormouse the more I can see the faults on the earlier Poplar Dormouse.

Just thought I’d share this progress shot with you, I’ll have some pictures of the finished Netsuke later today.

Oh and if you can think of a name for this piece all suggestions are welcome in the comments.

Until later then.





Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .


A little Dormouse Netsuke update

Progress image of my Dormouse Netsuke carving in Popular
Progress pic of my Dormouse Netsuke carving


I thought it was about time for an update on my Netsuke carving of a curled up Dormouse.

I have been working on the carving off and on since the last post, as each time I reach a bit I need to think about I put the carving down and carry on with something else, such is the luxury of working on something you want to as opposed to something that is on another persons deadline.

As you can see from the picture he is now separated from the post he was on, I couldn’t get the gouges where I needed to get them so I cut around his bottom very carefully and got him free from the wood. Now he is a little more difficult to hold but I’m making sure that I carve quite carefully as I do like my fingers!

I have been sanding him which has helped to refine the shape and make him look a little less ‘woolly’ than before.

I am spending a lot of time making sure the overall shape works as it passes under the feet and under the tail, trying to make sure that the tail sits over the body rather than into it.

Speaking of feet I’ve had a little accident with his left foot, one of the toes has crumbled and come away from the carving. The decision now is whether to leave him with uneven amounts of toes and call him a freak of nature, or to try to glue on a piece of wood to replace the toe. I can’t carve the foot deeper in to recover the toe unless I reset the whole carving making it even smaller.

I suppose really it depends on what I want to do with the carving when its finished, if I’m going to keep it for me as my first ever Netsuke carving then it’ll be fine to leave it as it is. If I want to sell it then maybe a repair is the best thing to do.

So at the moment this carving has gone back into the drawer while I think through the problem.

Its now time for me to move onto my next carving, strangely enough I already have the maquette made up, though you’ll have to wait till next time to find out what it is.





Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .


A little Netsuke carving is taking shape

Dormouse Netsuke roughed out in Poplar
Dormouse Netsuke roughed out in Poplar


So ok I just couldn’t wait any longer to share this with you, I am so excited. It took a lot of willpower to not post this yesterday but I promised myself I would leave at least a day between each post of this project.

I have started to carved the Dormouse Netsuke shown as a maquette in my last post here

I couldn’t decide which wood to use, in the end I chose Poplar purely because the piece I had behind my workbench was roughly the right size! I know great decision making, I had make a start somewhere.

I’m not sure that Poplar is the best choice for something this small, and I’m also not sure if he will be small enough to class as a Netsuke. He is already smaller than the maquette was, only time will tell.

So far I think he is going really well, the overall shape is looking a lot like the maquette, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Once the overall shape has been smoothed out the next part is the finer details and progress I think will slow down from here as any mistake at this point could ruin the carving completely, I really don’t want to do that.

For a first attempt at something of this size I am really pleased, I think it may also be my first carving in the round. I just can’t wait to get the rest of him completed and cut off from the supporting block he is currently sitting on.

I will post updates as soon as I have them.





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